Creative Space Organizing - Making Spaces More Livable, Creative & Productive

Get your FREE copy of

"7 Tips for Organizing Your Life
and Decreasing Stress"

You'll also receive a FREE Subscription to our Creative Space Organizing newsletter.

Interior Designing: Color Is Your Friend

Interior Designing: Color Is Your Friend

Color, color everywhere and yet so many of us fear it when it comes to decorating our homes. Many clients I work with default with beige, tan, off white, white or some variation. There are some who are bold with color and know how to use it in the right ways and right amounts. There are others who like color and use it in the wrong combinations which makes the colors struggle with each other and ultimately cancel out their positive effects.

Interior Designer Oakland

Don’t fear colors when you have the right help

As we know color is all around us in nature: the cool blues of the ocean, the red rock of the Arizonan desert, purples and magentas of a Hawaiian sunset and the myriad of greens in forests and meadows. Yet how can we take colors we love and use them in our spaces, to actually make friends with colors, without fearing them and choosing neutral because it’s safe?

First we have to understand how colors work together and use them to their effectiveness in our homes. We refer to colors by saturation (the purity of a color–whether colors look rich and full or dull and grayish) , hue (the obvious characteristic of a color) and value (the light or darkness of a color–achieved by adding black [tone] or white [tint]). Colors also take on characteristics of the colors they lie next to on the color wheel, where green can have a yellowish undertone or a blueish cast to it. Whites can have yellow, pink or blue undertones as can grey. And colors can alter or change appearance when placed next to another color by adopting or taking on the effects of that other color. As you can see, this is why people can get overwhelmed with color and default to white or tan.

When I am doing color consultations with clients, I start with a general location in the spectrum of what they like. If they aren’t able to start there, then I will use existing flooring, furniture, draperies to guide the choices. People often pick a color they like yet don’t discern the above nuances in a color so they choose something that clashes or aggravates the existing color palette. It is imperative to detect the subtleties and to have a direction in which to go so the colors work harmoniously and lead to the desired mood the client wants.

So why the fear? As previously mentioned, because there are so many choices and options and because it is easy to make a mistake with color, people shy away from making any bold declarations with color. They fear making a mistake and having to redo. I tell clients that colors change throughout the day, with different seasons and weather. I work with them to choose at least 2 options and have them paint a large enough swatch on a wall so they can see the color on a big scale and then live with it for a week or so. I remind them, especially when painting the exterior of a home that’s been painted one color for many years, their eyes are adjusted to that color and for some, the initial shock of a new color sends them running back to what they knew–bland. By living with it for a week or so, they can adjust to it and see they may very well like after all. Color enhances our lives, our surroundings, affects our moods and can transform a space with its empowering qualities. If you should need help with color, feel free to call and get the help you need from Creative Space Organizing at 510-501-1213.